in·vent | \ in-ˈvent \
invented; inventing; invents

Definition of invent 

transitive verb

1 : to produce (something, such as a useful device or process) for the first time through the use of the imagination or of ingenious thinking and experiment

2 : to devise by thinking : fabricate

3 archaic : find, discover

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Other words from invent

inventor \in-ˈven-tər \ noun
inventress \in-ˈven-trəs \ noun

Examples of invent in a Sentence

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph. She is credited with inventing a procedure that has helped to save thousands of lives. She invented a clever excuse. We found out that he had invented the stories he told us about his military service.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Equally as popular in those years was rugby football, which would come to be known as what is now universally recognized as rugby (or rugby union) – largely because it was invented at the tony Rugby School. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Sorry, England: the USA is right to call football 'soccer'," 12 July 2018 There’s a stat that’s like 10X more retail branches since the moment that the ATM was invented. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Box CEO Aaron Levie on Recode Decode," 11 July 2018 The game was invented 53 years ago, according to the USA Pickleball Association. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "New outdoor pickleball league explodes in Franklin and across America," 20 June 2018 Spoiler alert: they were originally invented for men! Southern Living, "The Surprisingly Practical History of High Heels," 15 June 2018 Merkel’s chief spokesman, Steffen Seibert, quickly stepped in to say the report was invented. Patrick Donahue,, "Five Ways Merkel’s Coalition Crisis Could Blow Up or Blow Over," 15 June 2018 The two-wheeled personal transporter was brought to market in 2001 and the sport was invented shortly thereafter. Staff, The Christian Science Monitor, "Meanwhile in ... Kazakhstan, an entire nation is struggling to learn a new alphabet," 7 June 2018 According to Robbie, the season heretofore forever known as Cruise was invented when Coco Chanel herself debuted a small collection at the end of fall 1919, intended for exclusive shoppers visiting resorts in coastal towns, like Biarritz. Derek Blasberg, Vanities, "Don’t Expect to See Margot Robbie on a Cruise Ship Anytime Soon," 4 May 2018 Sure the tour is nice, seeing where the rickhouse system was invented, admiring the collection of vintage whiskey bottles and decanters (some of which Perry donated). Dana Mcmahan, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville's Carroll Perry was bourbon before bourbon was cool," 2 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'invent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of invent

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for invent

Middle English, from Latin inventus, past participle of invenire to come upon, find, from in- + venire to come — more at come

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Statistics for invent

Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for invent

The first known use of invent was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for invent



English Language Learners Definition of invent

: to create or produce (something useful) for the first time

: to create or make up (something, such as a story) in order to trick people


in·vent | \ in-ˈvent \
invented; inventing

Kids Definition of invent

1 : to create or produce for the first time Thomas Edison invented the light bulb.

2 : to think up : make up She invented an excuse for being late.

Other words from invent

inventor \-ˈvent-ər \ noun

Legal Definition of invent 

: to create or produce for the first time

Other words from invent

inventor noun

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Comments on invent

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